Florida Wiretapping Laws
“This call may be recorded for quality or training purposes.” When you hear these words, you dread what comes next, namely a customer service representative giving you the runaround, so that, if you lose your temper, the call center can play the recording of the call for new employees in training to show them an example of a difficult customer. While the call center might be recording the calls more for its own benefit than for yours, the reason that its representatives notify you before the recording begins is that the law requires this. Recording a phone call or other type of communication without the consent of all parties being recorded is against the law. If you are being accused of illegally recording a conversation or otherwise intercepting communications, contact a West Palm Beach white collar crime lawyer.
Florida Laws on Interception of Phone Calls and Electronic Communications
Florida Statute 934.03 prohibits “interception and disclosure of wire, oral, or electronic communications.” This law states that it is illegal to record a conversation or other communication without the consent of all the people who can be seen or heard on the recording. In ordinary language, Statute 934.03 covers wiretapping, eavesdropping, and electronic snooping. Therefore, it covers the following actions:
- Recording phone conversations in which you were involved
- Recording phone conversations in which you were not involved
- Making a voice memo of your in-person conversation with someone else
- Logging into someone else’s email, even if the person knows that you know his or her password
If a person depicted in the recording suffers financial losses because of your recording, he or she has the right to file a civil lawsuit against you. Furthermore, interception of communications is a third-degree felony, and if you are convicted, you could get a prison sentence of up to five years.
Charges of interception of communications may go along with other charges. For example, if you share the conversation you secretly recorded (for example, where the other person told you identifying information that could be used as password security questions) and then used it to hack into the person’s bank account, you could be charged with wire fraud or identity theft. If you did the recording and someone else did the hacking, you could be charged with conspiracy to commit financial crimes.
Electronic snooping charges often occur in the context of divorce cases and post-divorce actions. You might think that recording a conversation with your ex-spouse will help you prove to the family court that your ex is lying, but this strategy will backfire. In some cases, recording your ex without his or her knowledge could lead to you being charged with stalking. Wiretapping charges often occur in tandem with domestic violence cases when couples or former couples are involved.
Contact a West Palm Beach Criminal Defense Lawyer Today
Attorney William Wallshein has more than 39 years of experience, including five years as a prosecutor in Palm Beach County. Contact William Wallshein P.A. in West Palm Beach, Florida to discuss your case.